Slovakia facts and history in brief
Slovakia a central European republic, formerly part of Czechoslovakia.
Occupies an area of 49,035 sq km and is bounded by Poland, Ukraine,
Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic and dominated by the Carpathian
mountains, with the the Gerlach Shield at a height of 2,655 m.
For more information on Slovakia Slovakia
facts and history in brief
Martin (Turócszentmárton in Hungarian) is a city with
a population of about 60,000 is in the Turiec county, and its cultural
and administration centre.
The town's history can be traced back about 3,000 years.
The first written reference dates back to 1284.
In 1340 King Charles Robert granted it town privileges.
Martin was one of the birthplace of the Slovak ethnic emancipation.
After spending some time exploring the town and
visiting most of the notable sights, we asked a couple
of police officers for directions to get out of the
town and to our next destination.
Although it wasn't absolutely necessary as we had good maps, but since
they were near our car, I gave it go, anyway to my regret.
The officers turned around and give us a ticket for parking in a no
parking allowed place.
When I am driving overseas, I always very careful in
driving and parking, taking into account my unfamiliarity.
We did check the place before and after, there were
definitely no signs, anywhere near where we were.
We were told, - although they couldn't or wouldn't speak any English
or Hungarian and our command of the Slovak language was non existent,
- that we parked, where we shouldn't - they never showed us any signs
either - and we had to pay an instant fine of 8000 Kronen, there and
than or he gets on his mobile phone to get our wheels clamped.
While we couldn't understand their lingo, we understood what they were
getting at and we definitely knew it that we were in s...street.
So we paid.
While all these was going on, - they talking to us, one writing in his
little book, the other fishing for the instant fine chits, - their hands,
(both of theirs), were extremely and visibly shaking.
To this day, I'm certain, I got the ticket, because I was assumed to
be Hungarian, driving a Hungarian registered hire car.
It was a Saturday afternoon and the whole place seemed deserted.
By the by, there was a car, we parked behind, but it
was gone by the time we arrived back.
Parking behind it, with no sign of any signs around, give us some security,
We always preferred to park at 'pay parking' places,
but there wasn't any around that we could find.
There's still some enmity towards the Hungarian minority
in Slovakia, which is well documented.
We couldn't get out of the town fast enough.
To tell you the truth, Hui Chin and I have enjoyed our
visit to Slovakia and we found the people friendly and
hospitable, but we do hate the memory of those bent
cops of Martin.
You can click on these photos for an enlargement.
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